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  1. Hi,
    Which of the three following devices is the best for straight VHS to BLU-RAY transfer?

    ATI TV WONDER 600
    Canopus ADVC-100
    Hauppauge WinTV HVR 4400

    Thanks
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
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    Need more info.

    Is your goal:
    1) To record your VHS tapes in HD format at 720p or 1080p?
    or
    2) To record your VHS tapes in standard definition and just pack as many as possible onto a Blu Ray disc?
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  3. Hi,
    My goal is one tape = one disc. I want the lowest possible level of compression I can get away with.
    I realize the lower the compression the bigger the file, thats why I'm using Blu-ray.

    I'm planning on discarding my VHS collection when I'm finished, so quality is vital.

    Thanks
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  4. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    None of those do TBC, but with low compression you may be able to get away without TBC.

    Are these important personal tapes or just TV captures? What speed SP/EP?

    If a camcorder tape, which model camcorder?
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  5. Member
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: New Zealand
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    Personally, given the low quality of VHS, I would just transfer to DVD. I doubt you get much more by going to Blu Ray, and it will cost more.

    When I transferred my tapes, I went with plugging the VCR into a stand-alone DVD recorder (a Panasonic EH68 from memory). That was simple and worked well, and I recommend it as an approach.

    If you must have Blu Ray, you could use a stand-alone Blu Ray recorder instead. Other than the fact that it doesn't have component HD inputs (which is irrelevant for VHS) I really like the look of the Panny DMRBW880. It would do the trick, but is a tad on the expensive side.
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  6. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Are you just assuming that a stand-alone BluRay recorder will allow higher quality SD, or have you seen some evidence?

    There are some specific DVD recorders that are very "kind" to signals from VHS (TBC+DNR built into the recorder itself). I doubt you'll find this tech in a BluRay recorder (but maybe Panasonic have thrown every gizmo they could find into one - I don't know - I don't have one!).

    Some people here loop the signals from trashy VHS VCRs through a Panasonic ES10 (for example) on the way to a better DVD recorder and claim miracles (ES10 seems to have something like TBC+DNR). Certain people here claim the ES10 ruins everything. I'm more inclined to believe the former. Some DV camcorders with analogue inputs also work near-miracles when fed VHS.

    Cheers,
    David.
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  7. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
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    VHS tape is a pretty low resolution source to begin with. It's somewhere in the neighborhood of VCD (VHS is actually better, but not by a lot). I find it doubtful that you'd notice any difference between a good quality DVD version of the source and a Blu Ray version of the source but I suppose you could always test that for yourself.
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2002
    Location: South Florida
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    Stay with DVD
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  9. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Some people think half-res (352480 or 352576) is sufficient for VHS. It might be, but some players don't upscale it that well.

    There are other resolutions (like 528x480 or 528x576 or 544x.... etc) which certainly are sufficient for VHS, but these are only officially allowed by DVB, not DVD. They do work on most DVD players (similar MPEG decoding circuit to STBs, so they support all the modes), but aren't "DVD standard".

    The advantage of using fewer pixels (as long as it's still enough pixels to capture all the detail of the source) is that, for a given bitrate, you'll have fewer MPEG-2 coding artefacts.

    VCD is insufficient to capture "full" VHS quality - it's only 352x240 or 352x288, which is far fewer lines than VHS. VHS stores the full number of 480+ or 576 active lines of NTSC or PAL. VHS only reduces the horizontal resolution (to about 320 pixels) - it keeps the full vertical resolution (in theory, for luminance at least).

    Cheers,
    David.
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  10. Member yoda313's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2004
    Location: The Animus
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    I guess the cheapest alternate for you would be to use a hauppauge hd pvr. It has composite inputs with a svideo input jack.

    Assuming you use a good quality vcr to playback with you could capture to 720x480 h264 and use the maximum 13mb/s bitrate. From there you could either author as avchd (probably not likely as it would most likely exceed even a dl disc at any lenghty recording session) or convert the h264 for bluray authoring.

    I don't have a bluray burner so I don't know the procedure to take hauppauge h264 files and create a fully functional bluray disc. I suppose you could take it and use tsmuxer and spit out the bluray format with "create bluray disc". It would be rudimentary with only chapters at fixed intervals.

    Multiavchd may have full bluray output support. If it does (I haven't looked for it so I don't know) that would be your best freeware option. Then with multiavchd you could tweak everything you need including menus. Then I believe you can burn a bluray disc with imgburn so you could do it with freeware after you purchase a hauppauge hd pvr.

    Of course it can only record at 720x480 over the composite/svideo inputs so you are stuck with that resolution. But that should still be more than adequate for vhs.
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  11. Member hech54's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2001
    Location: Yank in Europe
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    Originally Posted by jedi55 View Post
    Hi,
    My goal is one tape = one disc. I want the lowest possible level of compression I can get away with.
    I realize the lower the compression the bigger the file, thats why I'm using Blu-ray.

    I'm planning on discarding my VHS collection when I'm finished, so quality is vital.

    Thanks
    You can't get blood from a stone. Don't waste your time with VHS to Blu Ray nonsense. Even uncompressed
    video will not work when burned to a Blu Ray disc....it WILL NOT play in any Blu ray player....it will simply
    be a data disc that the player does not understand.
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  12. Hi,
    Thanks for the responses. Ok I'll stick with DVD since there seems to be no real gain with Blu-ray. However that still does not resolve my original problem. Which of the three capture devices is best for a straight transfer?

    Thanks
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  13. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by jedi55 View Post
    Hi,
    Thanks for the responses. Ok I'll stick with DVD since there seems to be no real gain with Blu-ray. However that still does not resolve my original problem. Which of the three capture devices is best for a straight transfer?

    Thanks
    People here could argue all day long about which capture route is best, DV via a Canopus ADVC-100, or something else using an ATI TV Wonder 600. (Remove:Few would argue that both devices can produce pretty good results.) Few would not agree that both devices can produce pretty good results.You have provided no details regarding your computer or OS, so it is hard to say if the PC you have would work better with one than with the other. Maybe you could help us out by saying what CPU and OS you will use on your capture PC, whether it is a desktop or laptop, and whether or not you will have to add a firewire port for the Canopus.

    Hauppauge's WinTV HVR 4400 is not sold in N. America, so since you live in another part of the world, availability of the device is another thing to consider. If you can't easily get hold of the other two devices, a Hauppauge product may be the best choice for you. I don't know anything about the Hauppauge WinTV HVR 4400 per se, but Hauppage's newer products tend to produce a softer picture and provide fewer capture options than the ATI TV Wonder 600.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 13th Mar 2011 at 08:44. Reason: clarity
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  14. Member classfour's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2002
    Location: The Heartland, United States
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    Blue-ray discs and burners have for certain gotten too cheap.

    I wouldn't waste a BD-R on a VHS source, just my opinion.
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  15. Hi,
    I'm buying a new pc the spec is:


    INTEL CORE I7 950 (3.06GHZ, 8MB L2 CACHE)

    ASUS P6X58D PREMIUM MOTHERBOARD

    6GB KINGSTON HYPERX PC12800 1600MHZ DDR3 RAM

    ATI 4850 1GB SILENT PASSIVE COOLED PCI-E GRAPHICS CARD

    SONY OPTIARC 24X SATA DVD BURNER

    Pioneer BLU RAY Writer/ HD DVD Reader / DVD +/- Rewriter

    OCZ 120GB VERTEX 2 SATA II ULTRA FAST SANDFORCE SSD DRIVE

    MICROSOFT 64BIT WINDOWS 7 HOME PREMIUM


    Hope that helps.

    Thanks
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  16. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by jedi55 View Post
    Hi,
    I'm buying a new pc the spec is:


    INTEL CORE I7 950 (3.06GHZ, 8MB L2 CACHE)

    ASUS P6X58D PREMIUM MOTHERBOARD

    6GB KINGSTON HYPERX PC12800 1600MHZ DDR3 RAM

    ATI 4850 1GB SILENT PASSIVE COOLED PCI-E GRAPHICS CARD

    SONY OPTIARC 24X SATA DVD BURNER

    Pioneer BLU RAY Writer/ HD DVD Reader / DVD +/- Rewriter

    OCZ 120GB VERTEX 2 SATA II ULTRA FAST SANDFORCE SSD DRIVE

    MICROSOFT 64BIT WINDOWS 7 HOME PREMIUM


    Hope that helps.

    Thanks
    You could use any of the three devices you inquired about with that build. The motherboard you picked has onboard firewire, so you don't need to install an add-on card for firewire.

    The Canopus DV capture devices don't have drivers of their own, they only need a compatible fire wire driver to work.The only Windows 7-related problem report I've come across so far regarding Canopus DV capture devices is that some older ones may need a particular legacy firewire driver installed, or they won't work. A participant in a thread at http://ediusforum.grassvalley.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16490 wrote the only firewire driver that works properly for older devices in in Windows 7 is "1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (legacy)". With Windows-7 compatible DV capture software, you are good to go.

    If you get the TV Wonder 600, get either the PCI-e version or the PCI version if you can, instead of the USB version. No Windows 7 drivers were released for the TV Wonder 600 USB, and a registry hack is needed to allow the 64-bit Vista drivers released for it to function with Windows 7. I was a participant in a thread to help someone who could not seem to get the TV Wonder 600 USB to work with any capture program he tried running Windows 7 64-bit, although the hack did allow its Vista drivers to be installed. Maybe he made some mistakes and the device itself was perfectly functional, but better safe than sorry.

    Although there are Windows 7 64-bit drivers available for the PCI-e and PCI version, in some ways Windows XP is a better choice for this device. ATI released a unified Windows 7 driver package for the TV Wonder 600, 650, and 750 PCI-e and PCI cards. I have the TV Wonder 650, and its proc amp controls were not available for me using Windows 7, but they were available for someone else using windows XP. I haven't read anything about whether or not the TV Wonder 600 proc amp controls are available or not using Windows 7, but my experience makes me think they may not be. Even without the proc amp controls, it is still a good capture device.
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  17. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: Toronto Canada
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    @Usually_Quiet: I have to agree with you otherwise I would (as you know) highly recommend the ATI 600 (USB) as my choice. Unfortunately it has a high risk of being problematic with W7.

    It's too bad because the ATI 600 can do it all, high quality MPEG-2 and DV, even HD formats, so it makes the Canopus, and other tools including a Hauppauge (SD/HD), even DVRs, rather useless.

    I understand about the internal version, but I can only confirm the USB version's abilities.

    @Jedi55: As for formats to put on blu-ray, a few things to keep in mind:

    I say stick with the SD spec, which is compliant with BD. Any MPEG-2 DvD stream at full-D1 (480i/576i) is also compatible within a BD structure. So go ahead and use MPEG-2 in this method if you wish for choices. (H.264 in SD is also BD compliant, but that is another story - guide from me on this coming up soon, stay tuned. )

    However, BD will accept an SD MPEG-2 stream at higher bitrate than DvD which limits to 9800kbps. If you want to encode to 15000kbps then go ahead if compression isn't important. However, I do believe with VHS the Law of Diminishing Returns starts to apply after 8000kbps with MPEG-2, so it may be a waste with a huge majority of Sources.

    As for DV, you can capture to it and archive on BD discs as data (~13GB/Hr). If you want compliancy, a re-encode is necessary.

    As for DV vs. highbitrate MPEG-2 this is can be a nasty debate with VHS Source. But the good news is that the differences aren't huge in quality.

    As for HD, forget it with VHS Source that has resolution well under even DvD's. You will gain nothing in quality, only make it look worse in many cases for a much higher file size. And it will demand more processing too. Not worth it.
    Been away for a while and busy with work the last few months so I had no time for forums. My apologies for any emails I couldn't get to in time - missed you all! :-)
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